Barbers experienced in cutting African-American men's hair usually offer a number of styles to choose from, including the basic close cut worn by Barack Obama, the first African-American president. The styles vary greatly, ranging from conservative cuts such as Obama's to longer hairstyles favoured by black actors, singers and other celebrities.
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The website Ask Men describes the coiffed Afro as a "contemporary spin on a vintage style." The original Afro was popular in Afro-American communities in the mid to late 1960s and sometimes featured an enormous head of hair shaped with a comb and lightly trimmed and shaped by barbers. The coiffed Afro is similar but with less hair and the addition of twists and curls. In August 2010 Ask Men was crediting singer Lenny Kravitz with making the coiffed Afro popular.
The Close Shave
Ask Men says the close shave is the black man's version of the buzz cut. The haircut is also known in some African-American communities as the bald fade. Barbers cut the hair very close to the scalp--hence the name "close shave." In 2010 actor Jamie Foxx was one of the African-American celebrities sporting this style.
The Total Shave
The total shave represents the most extreme haircut. Barbers use clippers to cut the hair as close to the scalp as possible, and then shave the head using a razor. The style is most popular with men who are naturally starting to go bald. The total shave doesn't mean trips to the barber are over, however. At least some of the hair starts to grow back in just a few days, making more visits to the barber necessary.
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